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Old April 30, 2019, 01:41 AM   #1
Geezerbiker
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I probably wasted my money

I was poking around on Fleabay and found that there's a bunch of AR15 parts there but since Fleabay is nutso about gun stuff none of them have AR15 in the title.

Anyway I bought a free floated 15.5 inch hand guard with barrel nut for 38 bucks. It's supposed to be here Friday and I'll post some pix then.

It decided to try a cheapo one since I think most of them are selling for way more than they should cost... Time will tell if it was a waste of my money.

Tony
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Old April 30, 2019, 08:39 AM   #2
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I've bought slotted free float tubes on ebay with a big aluminium barrel nut onto which the handguard threads. They are strong and the slots allow mounting of bits of picatinny rail and paracord for sling attachment.
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Old April 30, 2019, 11:56 AM   #3
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As far as sales go, optics planet has had some very good ones lately across the board, I bought a couple aero odds and ends at 20% off with an additional 10% off the discounted price - that place doesn't block you from stacking discounts on top of sales. The hanguards in particular were very cheap when I was looking.
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Old April 30, 2019, 01:37 PM   #4
rickyrick
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I bought an eBay freefloat barrel nut and hand guard back when most places were out of stock. Chinese I’m sure but it works and had no issues with it.
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Old May 1, 2019, 01:43 AM   #5
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Some years ago I bought a muzzle brake off fleabay and it was also likely made in China. I think it was less than 20 bucks.

At the time I needed a thread protector ring and this brake was only a couple bucks more. The 16" barrel always looked puny and the brake although not needed rounds out the look of the rifle. I was hoping it would make the rifle long enough to stand up in my safe and still hit the rest at the top, no such luck...

Tony
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Old May 1, 2019, 09:40 AM   #6
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Probably, but it's your money. I'd be leery about stuff on there that may be intended for Airsoft toys vs real firearms.
The issue is that both E-Bay and PayPal fund the people who want to take your property away from you. There are documented horror stories about both of 'em cancelling accounts and stealing funds associated with said accounts.
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Old May 1, 2019, 11:28 AM   #7
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I eMailed the seller before I bought it asking if it would fit a standard AR15 upper and he said it would. What remains to be seen is if it's good or junk...

Tony
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Old May 1, 2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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The only FF hand guards I buy are the ones that use an actual wrench to tighten the nut and the HG then clamps onto the nut. No worry about getting the nut "clocked" to exactly the right spot so the HG is oriented properly.
As far as buying from ebay? A lot of that stuff is the same stuff the budget (or not so budget) retailers are selling for more $$.
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Old May 2, 2019, 01:58 AM   #9
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I've had two of the cheaper aluminum barrel nuts jump threads on me. One was on a .50 Beowulf, and the other was on a .450 Bushmaster I assembled for one of our dispatchers. If the barrel nut feels like it engages the threads and gets at least 1/4 of the way on without any appreciative wobble- it ought to be good for lighter recoiling rounds.
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Old May 4, 2019, 04:48 AM   #10
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It arrived on Friday just like promised. The barrel nut is steel but it was already installed in the hand guard so I'll have to figure out how to get it out when it's time to torque it on a new barrel. I'll get some pix up over the weekend. Anyway it looks like it's way higher quality than I expected and worth the 38 bux I paid for it...

I had not planned to buy any more parts for this project until I've paid for getting my .22 K-Hornet varmint rifle fixed, but I had ordered the upper receiver before I knew the other project was going to be 3x over budget and the hand guard was a spur of the moment purchase...

Tony
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Old May 4, 2019, 06:42 AM   #11
Nathan
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To me, it is all about your requirements. If you can accept slightly heavy, lower quality materials, made in the Far East, it is probably ok.

Think about what makes handguards expensive. To me it is usually their alignment system to the upper; strength of attachment to the nut; and their ability to not deflect on the end under slug pressure.

How does yours do these things? It will be clear good or bad after install.
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Old May 4, 2019, 07:42 AM   #12
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For $40 it's worth trying. Even if it sucks, later on if you ever decide to do a 9mm AR build those cheap free float handguards would be perfectly fine given the distances for 9mm won't often exceed 75 yards.

I recently bought a $30 green laser/light combo on Amazon expecting it to suck. The housing is plastic, but the darn was spot on and I laughed at how fun it was shooting with a laser. Came with rechargeable CR123 batteries and for $30 is blows away the $270 Streamlight I bought years ago with the crap red laser.

Buying cheap is like a box of chocolates, never know what you're gonna get. Most people on forums detest cheap, only that which is most expensive is worhty of your money. They must buy all their tools from Snap On, $60 hammers, $400 cordless drills, etc.

I was tempted to go cheap on a handguard when I did my AR build last year, but better sense emerged and I bought Midway's AR Stoner handguard. Double the price, but known quality and the devil you know is... you know the rest.

You can spend more money on something and never get even half of it back. Years ago I bought a Marlin .22 for $270. Thing "groups" like a shotgun at 50 yards. I want to sell it, but I know I'll barely get half what I paid for it.

$40 is nothing in comparison.
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Old May 4, 2019, 11:30 PM   #13
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Of the several cheap hand guards to choose from, I liked the look of this one the best but I really only had the pix to go by.



So far my only disappointment is that the barrel nut doesn't reach the 3rd lock screw. I would have preferred it if the nut wasn't preinstalled but that's only a minor issue. I'm sure I can knock it out with a wooden dowel...

It came with a couple shims and an allen wrench but I'm sure I'll have to torque it on whatever barrel I end up with before I can get it lined up the way it should be.

The upper receiver is hollow at the moment and I don't have a barrel yet but this is how it looks right now...



There's a boss for a tripod but it's not threaded and no provision for a sling attachment but those are both things I'm sure I can figure out.

So far it's looking like a very good deal...

Tony

Last edited by Geezerbiker; May 4, 2019 at 11:38 PM.
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Old May 5, 2019, 07:00 AM   #14
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That boss for a tripod may actually be a QD(quick disconnect) sling attachment point. The slots in the handguard should accept mlok accessories for any attachment you might want to add.
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Old May 5, 2019, 08:14 AM   #15
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I think for $38 you did just fine. I also have a cheap rail or two and they've held up for me.
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Old May 5, 2019, 09:04 AM   #16
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I think you're right about the Q-D sling swivel but I'm not 100% sure about the slots taking M-Lok accessories. Later on I'll pop for a cheap M-Lok item to see if it fits. The M-Lok hand guards I saw had more squared ends to the slots and the ones on mine are rounded on the ends. Even if I can't easily attach gizmos, I'm still going to use it...

I looked at a some hand guards at Midway and the closest to what I have is 100 bucks more. I'm not going to scrimp on the rest of the parts but $140 to $250 for a hand guard just seems nutz...

Tony
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Old May 5, 2019, 12:17 PM   #17
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You should be able to get the barrel nut out by loosening the three cross bolts, gently screwing the upper receiver into it then pulling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guarandtd
That boss for a tripod may actually be a QD(quick disconnect) sling attachment point. The slots in the handguard should accept mlok accessories for any attachment you might want to add.
Indeed. In fact those look like QD sockets at 3, 6 and 9 in front and 3 and 9 just forward of the receiver.

My one reservation about that specific handguard is those three bolts that appear to thread into aluminium. I have a Midwest Industries tube on a Palmetto State rifle that seems to attached that way. I think they spread thread lock on the outside of the barrel nut as well as the cross bolts.
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Old May 5, 2019, 01:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Most people on forums detest cheap, only that which is most expensive is worhty of your money.
Don't forget the other side of that coin, they want expensive quality for a cheap price, and if they can't get it, the only reason is the maker's greed...
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Old May 5, 2019, 04:43 PM   #19
GarandTd
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The slots on my Magpul MOE handguard have very similar shaped slots. They are rectangular, but rounded in the corners.
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Last edited by GarandTd; May 5, 2019 at 07:20 PM.
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